Red Wine May Reverse Signs Of Arterial Aging

Red wine may reverse signs of arterial agingWhile antioxidants in red wine have been shown to have health benefits, a recent study conducted at the Boston University Medical Center provides insight into what exactly the compounds do to the body.

A team of scientists examined the effects of polyphenols from red wine on rats, and it found that the rodents experienced improved artery function and ability to exercise after 24 weeks of ingesting a solvent containing the antioxidants.

The study authors said the improved vascular health may be due to lowered oxidative stress in the arterial wall. As individuals age, the inner lining of blood vessels, known as the endothelium, tends to lose its ability to foster proper blood flow, leading to cardiovascular disease.

The polyphenols from red wine halted endothelial dysfunction in the rats and also normalized the expression of certain proteins.

"Intake [of red wine polyphenols] had also a physiological beneficial effect since it improved the physical exercise capacity of old rats," study authors noted.

The American Heart Association has estimated that more than 81 million Americans suffer from a form of cardiovascular disease. It has also reported that coronary heart disease caused by atherosclerosis, or the narrowing of arteries, is the leading cause of death in the United States. 

Is The Gold Market A Bubble?

People who hate the discipline of gold are creative in their attacks to discredit honest money.

They say gold is in a bubble. But it is paper money that is in a bubble and the world is in the blow-off stage. In fact, every passing hour there is created tens of millions of dollars in phantom money. This requires more and more gold to rebalance the escalating deficit of substantive money.

Gold is not in a bubble. The world’s governments and people need more and more gold versus paper money.

Confidence in government “money” is collapsing. People all over the world are suddenly learning that governments steal from their citizens by inflating their currencies.

My advice to you is that if you wish to return to the good old days when you could buy a loaf of bread for a dime, then you must have some silver dimes. The baker will understand the value of a silver dime when the time comes.

Also, you should get money out of the United States into the Swiss franc and investigate Swiss annuities. There is a $50,000 minimum now. For information call toll-free 1-800-331-0996, leave your name, address, and phone number for information. Please speak clearly.

Another offshore wealth protection strategy is offshore life insurance. You can obtain our free research manual, The Offshore Life Insurance Advantage, written by top attorney J. Richard Duke, to learn more about them. I outlined some of the advantages of offshore insurance in my recent column, Consider Offshore Life Insurance For Asset Protection.

The greatest problem the American people have is currency depreciation by the government. The government produces nothing. Government can only depreciate the value of the currency to pretend to pay debts and stabilize the economy.

Once again, gold is not in a bubble. It’s paper money that is in a bubble. Gold has been rising in paper money terms for 10 years because wealth holders around the world are increasingly seeing it as a more stable currency than their local currencies.

Gold is a more stable currency than paper money because of its scarcity; annual demand for gold exceeds its production. Annual demand for paper money does not. The truly damning phrase should not be gold-bug, but paper-bug. Many investors and media commentators resolutely refuse to understand gold as real money.

No, it is not too late to buy gold and silver coins. In fact, the recent correction makes now the right time. You must keep them in your personal possession, not in a bank safe deposit box.

Gold and silver stocks have broken out to the upside again. They still have a lot to gain in my opinion. I use Charles Schwab for a discount broker.

The following are gold, silver and energy stocks that I own. I’ve made tremendous gains with them and they still have a long way to go: BHP Billiton (I recommend this stock to everyone), Royal Gold; Kinross; Iamgold; El Dorado; Agnico-Eagle; Silver Standard; Pan American; CONSOL Energy; ASA Limited; Marathon Oil; Talisman Energy; Endeavour Mining; Industrias Penoles; Couer d’Alene Mines; Compania De Minas Buenaventura SA; Baidu Inc. (this is the Chinese Google, a high flyer and has a long way to go, in my opinion).

We are not selling yet: Newfield Exploration.

Some good funds: India Fund; Morgan Stanley Indian Fund; Vanguard Energy Fund; Fidelity Select Gold Fund; GAMCO Gold Fund; Tocqueville Funds; US Global Investors Precious Minerals Fund; US Global Gold and Precious Minerals Fund.

Cardiovascular Disease Preventable By Controlling Blood Pressure

Cardiovascular disease preventable by controlling blood pressureResearch recently published in Hypertension: Journal of the American Heart Association has indicated that by lowering blood pressure, women cut their risk of experiencing stroke, myocardial infarction or heart failure and could possibly reverse some effects of cardiovascular disease.

Conductors of the study examined nearly 10,000 people in 11 countries for 11 years and found that high systolic blood pressure is a strong indicator of cardiovascular disease. High cholesterol and smoking are also strong risk factors and, combined with hypertension, they account for 85 percent of reversible cardiovascular disease.

The results suggest that since high blood pressure is preventable, individuals could also stave off heart disease by taking the same measures. The National Institutes of Health advises a healthy, low-sodium diet and regular exercise to keep blood pressure at a healthy level.

"I was surprised by the study findings that highlight the missed opportunities for prevention of heart disease in older women," said Dr. Jan A. Staessen, director of the Studies Coordinating Center in the Division of Cardiovascular Rehabilitation at the University of Leuven in Belgium.

While an increase in blood pressure showed a 56 percent higher chance of heart complications for women, in men it only heightened risks by 32 percent.  

Barbara Bush Advocates For Gay Marriage In New York Civil Rights Campaign

Barbara Bush Advocates For Gay Marriage In New York Civil Rights CampaignBarbara Bush, the daughter of former President George W. Bush, has joined a list of well-known Republicans who support gay marriage.

According to media reports, Barbara appears in a 20-second advertisement that is featured on the Human Rights Campaign's website. The video is one of several testimonials from New Yorkers who support marriage equality. Whoopi Goldberg, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg are among the other participants in the campaign.

"New York is about fairness and equality and everyone should have the right to marry the person that they love. Join us," Barbara says in the video.

Although most GOP lawmakers oppose gay marriage, Barbara joins her mother Laura Bush, former Vice President Dick Cheney and Cindy McCain, wife of Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.), as prominent conservatives who back equal rights for homosexuals. Mary Cheney, the former VP's daughter, is openly gay.

Although President Barack Obama opposed same-sex marriage during his 2008 presidential campaign, the commander-in-chief has indicated in recent months that his stance is "evolving." Eight states currently grant marriage licenses to gay couples, but under the Defense of Marriage Act — passed in 1996 — the Federal government cannot recognize these unions. 

Idaho Legislator Says Constitution Allows State To Reject Obamacare

Idaho legislator says Constitution allows state to reject ObamacareLawmakers in Idaho are working on legislation that would declare President Barack Obama's healthcare law "null and void," claiming that the 10th Amendment grants individual states the final word on enforcing policies.

State Senator Monty Pearce (R-New Plymouth), the sponsor of the bill, said that he will introduce the proposal next week. However, Idaho's attorney general said that the bill would not hold up in court, which has caused some Republicans to think twice about their support for a "null and void" motion.

"My concern is the separation of powers," said State Senator Curt McKenzie (R-Nampa), quoted by FOX News. "There are ways to address this issue, but this isn't the right path."

The media outlet reported that at least six other states are mulling over similar bills, but they will wait to see the fate of Idaho's attempt. The Gem State is one of 26 states — spearheaded by Florida — that signed on to a Federal lawsuit against Obamacare. On Jan. 31, a judge ruled in favor of the states and declared the healthcare law unConstitutional. 

How America Became A Communist Nation

The root of the problem the world is facing right now isn’t really governments… or banks. The real problem is simply a very bad idea — the idea that the State ought to sit in the center of society. Let me explain…

The last 100 years (since 1914) saw not only the end of the classic gold standard, but also the fantastic ascendancy of the nation-state.

These two trends are inherently and dangerously related.

Until World War I, the central government of the United States, for example, played a small role in the lives of its citizens. Its powers were strictly limited, as were its revenues. It was specifically barred from taxing citizens directly. It was a humble government that interacted with the individual states in the union, but didn’t interact much with individual citizens.

The first signs of change came after the Civil War. "Progressive" ideas began to emerge. Most of these ideas came from Germany, from philosophers like Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. The core of these ideas was that the State itself was superior to its citizens. Therefore, the argument went, society ought to be organized to better accomplish the goals of the State.

Today, most Americans have no idea that the foundations of our modern State are based — nearly verbatim — on the demands of Marx’s Communist Manifesto.

In 1848, Marx threatened to organize a worker’s revolution unless European governments:

1. Abolished property rights and applied all rents towards public purposes.

[Modern corollary: Don’t pay your property taxes, lose your house. So who really owns your house?]

2. Levied a heavy, progressive income tax to equalize wages.

[Modern corollary: Combined Federal and State marginal income and payroll taxes approach (or surpass) 50 percent in many U.S. states.]

3. Abolished all rights of inheritance.

[Modern corollary: The estate tax.]

4. Confiscated the property of all emigrants.

[Modern corollary: The 2008 "Hero’s Act," which forces people leaving the U.S. to pay the equivalent of their estate taxes on the global assets before they turn in their passports.]

5. Centralized access to credit in the hands of the State by means of a national bank and an exclusive monopoly.

[Modern corollary: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which make more than 90 percent of all of the mortgages in the U.S. and have dominated the market for mortgages for decades.]

6. Centralized the means of communication and transport in the hands of the State.

[Modern corollary: AT&T was a legal monopoly for decades. AMTRAK is a ward of the states. The government owns all the roads. And the State controls all air traffic.]

7. Provided free education for all children in public schools.

[Note the emphasis on public schools. Paying for education isn’t enough. What counts is indoctrinating the kids in glorifying the State.]

8. Produced a common agricultural policy to maximize the productivity of the land.

[Modern corollary: Massive ethanol and agricultural subsidies.]

Most people in democracies like these ideas for one simple reason: They hold the allure of getting something for nothing. They are the siren song of living at the expense of your neighbor.

These ideas became extremely popular over the last 100 years all around the world. As a result, as democracy spread, so did these ideas. Politicians of each party and persuasion throughout the Western world quickly adopted them as their own (and never mentioned Marx).

As these ideas took hold, one big problem developed… How do you pay for them?

Progressive politicians believed they had the answer. They just took Marx’s big innovation: A progressive income tax. Let the rich pay!

It’s a popular idea — but it never works because decisions to add more benefits don’t take into account the expense of paying for them. It doesn’t take long for the budget to get out of control. Or said another way, everyone can’t live at the expense of his neighbor. His neighbor can’t afford it… and he moves.

More serious, the flaw in communism is obvious. Communism doesn’t account for the fact that people expect to control the fruits of their labor. People don’t like their assets being stolen and their wages being heavily taxed by a government that regulates their businesses and sends their children off to war. Incrementally, people stop working. Wealthy people flee… or hide their incomes.

Tax revenues fail to meet projections. Deficits grow. Deficit spending soars. And debts mount.

That’s where paper money comes in. Paper money isn’t only good for financing a war. It’s also perfect for closing the gap between what an economy ought to produce and its paltry real production when it has been beaten into submission by communist ideas. I like to explain it this way…

The central truth of economics is scarcity. There can never be enough of anything to satisfy everyone. The central truth of politics is patronage: Promising to give everything to everyone. Paper money is the bridge between economics and politics.

The unpaid debts of an entire generation of people in Western countries are coming due. The so-called "baby boomers" grew up in a world dominated by Marxism and Keynesian economics. These are bad ideas. They are destined to collapse.

And the collapse is here.

Regards,

Porter Stansberry

–Porter Stansberry with Braden Copeland

P.S. To learn more about America’s push to Communism, please click here.

U.S. Aid To Egypt Has Benefited American Businesses

U.S. aid to Egypt has benefited American businessesAs violence erupted in the streets of Egypt this week, some Americans have raised concerns about the government's aid to its Arab ally.

According to The Boston Globe, the Congressional Research Service (CRS) reports that American taxpayers have funneled more than $60 billion into Egypt since President Hosni Mubarak came to power in 1981. Approximately $34 billion came in the form of grants that required Egypt to purchase American-made military equipment.

Sunlight Foundation, a nonprofit government watchdog group, claims that more money should have been directed toward the nation's economic development, which may have helped prevent the recent turmoil.

"When you think about the aid, a large portion of it is very self-serving. It gets funneled right back to the United States," Bill Allison, editorial director at the Sunlight Foundation, told the news provider.

Although the government's aid to the Egyptian military has remained steady over the last decade — at about $1.3 billion per year — the civilian economic assistance has dropped at a rate of about $40 million per year, according to the CRS.

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that Representative Kay Granger (R-Texas), the chairwoman of the House Appropriations subcommittee on state and foreign operations, has urged fellow lawmakers to use caution when deciding on future aid for Egypt. Although many critics have called on the U.S. to relinquish its funding, Granger said that Congress must look at the bigger picture — Egypt's peace agreement with Israel and its influence in the Middle East — rather than hastily respond to recent events. 

Super Bowl Predictions, Debt, Greenspan and Billionaires

*The Super Bowl predicts a rising stock market. You’ll be glad to know that no matter who wins the Big Game this Sunday, it will mean a good year for U.S. stocks. That’s because “the Super Bowl predictor” — a statistical oddity first noted by market analyst Robert Stovall — says that whenever the winner is an original member of the National Football League, the market will end the year higher than it began. Since both the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Green Bay Packers meet that criterion, expect good things for the Dow in 2011. Don’t scoff — the predictor has been right 35 out of the past 44 Super Bowls, giving it a 79.5 percent accuracy rate. Can you pick stocks that well?

*Guess who’s getting out of debt — and who’s not? The final figures for 2010 aren’t out yet. But here’s what the Federal Reserve’s Flow of Funds report says happened in 2009. Households in this country reduced their debt by an average of 1.7 percent. Businesses did even better, cutting debt by 2.3 percent. States and local governments went the other way, increasing debt by 4.9 percent. But our greedy, grasping Federal government was the worst spendthrift of all, piling on another 22.9 percent of debt to an already massive load. No wonder people are screaming “stop!”

*Alan Greenspan says “me bad” … almost. Former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan, who did as much as any man alive to turn on the money spigots in Washington, now says: “We have at this particular stage a fiat money which is essentially money printed by a government. It’s usually a central bank which is authorized to do so. Some mechanism has got to be in place that restricts the amount of money that is produced, either a gold standard or a currency board.” And what will happen if we don’t? The maestro warns, “All of history suggest[s] that inflation will take hold with very deleterious effects on economic activity….” Wish you’d followed that good advice when you were in charge, ol’ buddy.

*Another quote worth chewing on. Market analyst Marc Faber offered up this stunner last week: “If you measure the stock market not in dollars but gold, it is down 80 percent since 1999. I no longer regard the U.S. dollar as a valid unit of account. People shouldn’t value their wealth in dollars because one day, in dollars, everyone will be a billionaire.”

–Chip Wood

The Sorry State Of Obama’s Disunion

Is it just me? Or did you also think that “America’s greatest orator” came across as flat, dull and uninspired in his State of the Union speech a week ago?

Peggy Noonan, The Wall Street Journal columnist who is one of my all-time favorite observers of the Washington scene, certainly did. Listen to how she summed up what she heard:

“Rhetorically the speech lay there like a lox, as if the document itself knew it was dishonest, felt embarrassed, and wanted to curl up quietly in a corner of the podium and hide. But the president insisted on reading it.”

No, POTUS did not give the SOTUS I expected. He did not move decisively to the center. But I did get one thing right: I predicted a week ago that the State of the Union Speech (SOTUS) by the President of the United States (POTUS) would be filled with promises and platitudes. This one sure was.

But looking at what appeared to be a bored and disbelieving audience, I got the impression that hardly anyone in the House believed him. To be honest, I didn’t either. The image that kept coming back to me during his 62-minute oration was of a man standing there with one arm stretched out — and the other behind his back with his fingers crossed.

Still, I have to admit that there was some very clever oratory. Whichever wordsmith on his staff decided to substitute the word “investment” for “spending” is an absolute genius. A genius whose talents are promoting the dark side, true. But it’s a brilliant rhetorical cover for one of the most damaging legacies of this administration.

And what about that promise to “freeze” Federal spending for the next five years? The man has been throwing money around with such abandon that he’s given drunken sailors a bad name. And now we’re supposed to applaud when he says, “Hey, no more increases for five years. Let’s just hold things where they are, okay?”

That is akin to sending a son off to college with a brand-new credit card. For two years he spends like crazy on wine, women and song. Oh, and maybe a book or two. You bail him out again and again, but no sooner have you paid off the staggering balance then there he goes again, running it up to the limit.

Finally, you’ve had enough. You threaten to take the card and cut it into tiny pieces. You tell him that from now on, he’ll be on a strict cash allowance. His response is to promise you that, if you’ll give the card back, he won’t spend any more in the future than he did in the past. Would you accept this as a fair deal? (If you would, let me tell you about some swampland I’d like to sell you.)

When it comes to healthcare, the President urged his audience not to “re-fight the battles of the last two years” but to fix what needs fixing and move on. Nice try, Mr. President, but it ain’t gonna work. In fact, as you know only too well, the House voted the previous week to abolish the entire healthcare monstrosity that you’re so proud of.

Plus, a Federal judge just ruled that a huge part of your bill is unConstitutional. More than half of the States have already initiated legal action to get the measure overturned or at least blocked in their jurisdictions. This fight ain’t half-begun, sir. And no amount of pious platitudes from you will change that.

The media reported after the SOTU that the President was interrupted 80 times by applause. You can bet that the White House had orchestrated every palm slap more carefully than a State Dinner. As I watched all of those politicians jump up and down every other sentence or so, I was reminded of a giant game of Whack-A-Mole. Up, down, up, down. All of it was about as spontaneous as a Pittsburgh Steelers’ pass play. Even the participants seemed bored by their actions.

But to be fair, I have to say that there were parts of President Barack Obama’s speech I felt like applauding myself. Such as when he said, “I am prepared to work with Democrats and Republicans to protect our borders [and] enforce our laws.” My problem is that I don’t believe him. Had he been Pinocchio, I think his nose would have grown a foot. In other words (and it saddens me to say this about a U.S. President), I think he was lying through his teeth.

Oh, and what about the doozey that “a parade of lobbyists has rigged the tax code?” Can you name a single lobbyist who ever cast a vote on the floor of the House or Senate? Me neither. But Obama and his buddies cast thousands. Let’s put the blame for our tax code squarely where it belongs, Mr. President — on you and your cronies.

I did like the President’s promise to lower the corporate tax rate “for the first time in 25 years.” I hope he delivers on this one; he’ll have the support of every Tea Partier in Congress if he does.

You probably never thought of it, but many of the most successful companies in America make a huge chunk of their profits — often more than 50 percent — from their sales in other countries. If you’ve traveled abroad recently you know it sometimes seems there is a Starbucks on every street corner, a McDonald’s next to it and Coca-Cola everywhere.

But most of those companies don’t bring their profits back to the U.S. of A. Why should they, when this country has the highest tax on corporate profits in the Western world? If you were the CEO, wouldn’t you keep the money overseas and put it to work there? That’s certainly what your shareholders — the real owners of the business — would want.

And how about the goal of giving 80 percent of us access to high-speed rail in the next 25 years? If people really wanted this, they’d be willing to pay for it. And a bunch of businesses would be eager to put up the money for it. No, this is just more of the same “we know better than you and we’re going to force you to do what we want” that’s led to the astronomical idiocy of ethanol, wind farms and electric cars.

Bah humbug to all the Soviet-style central planners who want to take away our freedom to choose. And then he dares to make a joke about how great it will be when we can travel around the country “without the pat-down.” Who do we have to thank for that gross indecency, Mr. President?

How did you like hearing “This is our generation’s Sputnik moment” from the same person who gutted NASA?

But for absolute effrontery — for a pompous promise that he knew was totally insincere, even as the words tumbled from his mouth — nothing Obama said that night could match this: “Every day families sacrifice to live within their means. They deserve a government that does the same.”

If you think Obama believes a single word of that you shouldn’t be trusted with a dull knife, much less the right to vote.

“We do big things” was how our panderer in chief ended his address. Indeed we do, Mr. President. And one of the “big things” we’re going to do next is find someone to replace you in the Oval Office.

Until next time, keep some powder dry.

–Chip Wood

Nutrient Biomarkers May Be Key In Alzheimer’s Prevention

Nutrient biomarkers may be key in Alzheimer's preventionResearchers at Oregon State University believe that detecting nutrient biomarkers in people with Alzheimer's may be an important step in developing treatment and prevention methods for the disease.

Scientists have suspected a link between the disorder and nutrition. However, accurate data is hard to find since it currently depends on a patient's recall of what they've eaten and also does not take into account how differently an elderly person's body may absorb nutrients.

"The gold standard to assess nutritional status should be biomarkers based on blood tests," said Emily Ho, co-author of the study.

As researchers begin to understand which populations are at risk for Alzheimer's disease, they improve their chances of developing prevention strategies. Additionally, with an accurate read of an individual's nutritional level, scientists can obtain better knowledge of how supplements and deficiencies affect a person's odds of getting the disorder.

For the study, researchers asked 38 elderly volunteers about their daily eating habits. Half of the participants had good memory and the others had a cognitive deficit. When compared to a nutritional assessment via a blood test, results showed that only those with intact memories gave reliable information.

Rescuing A Broken America by Michael Coffman, Ph.D.

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While most Americans know that their country is experiencing deep political divisions, few understand how or when this came about.

Some feel this division first appeared during the 2000 Presidential election in which the U.S. Supreme Court intervened in Florida’s ballot counting controversy. Others believe it manifest itself in the election of Barack Obama and the passage and proposal of overreaching and possibly unConstitutional bills (like Obamacare and Cap and Trade) by a Democrat Congress. But the schism actually began long before, writes Michael Coffman, Ph.D., in his book, Rescuing A Broken America: Why America is Deeply Divided and How to Heal it Constitutionally.

America is mired in a war of world views, Coffman writes, between the axiom of freedom and mutual respect best described by John Locke (1632-1704) in his Two Treatises on Government, and that of Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778) in his Social Contract and Discourse on the Origin of Inequality. And the divide stems from the fact that America’s people no longer understand the principles of unalienable rights and self-government as envisioned by the Founding Fathers because public schools no longer teach the foundations of freedom and God-given rights that protect them from plunder by others and their government.

The Founders subscribed to Locke’s view that the government’s purpose is to join with others “united, for the mutual preservation of their lives, liberties and estate, which I call by the general name, property.” And most Americans would be amazed to learn that the free right to own property represents the foundation upon which life and liberty depend, Coffman writes.

This difference can also be summed up as a dispute over whether we enjoy “natural rights,” guaranteed by the Constitution, or “positive rights” granted by government.

The Rousseau model, subscribed to by socialists and progressives, is easily sold to a dumbed-down populace because it is based on emotions and feelings and spell out what the government must do for its people. But positive rights also spell out what the people can and cannot do and were the basis for the Soviet Union’s constitution.

Property rights are also addressed by Coffman, and he demonstrates how today’s progressives are attacking the rights of Americans to own property and decide its best use and how this is a play right of Rousseau’s plan.

Studies show that the lower the protection of property rights in a country the lower is its per capita gross domestic product. Conversely, the higher the protection of property rights the higher the per capita GDP.

Coffman’s research shows how the right to own property is fundamental to a prosperous citizenry. In countries where citizens are able to own property and decide how it is used — as in the United States — citizens can turn that property into individual wealth. But in countries where citizens have no property rights — third world nations — the citizens have no means of building wealth. The property tied up by those governments and denied its citizens represent about $9.3 trillion in lost wealth — which is 93 times as much as all development assistance given to the developing nations from the advanced countries over the last 30 years. This is just one of the many ways Rousseau socialism has harmed individuals in other countries, and is a precursor to what is happening in America as Americans watch their rights to own and control property be whittled away.

Additionally, Coffman covers the global agenda that is working behind the scenes to co-opt American institutions and set the agenda in education and through the media to profoundly change the way the American people view their country and think about its founding document. This insidious effort is behind the evolution of Americans from the natural rights to the positive rights mindset. And because it’s so entrenched through multiple generations of teaching and propagandizing it will be incredibly difficult to turn back, Coffman says.

Finally, Coffman offers Constitutional solutions that will help to stem the tide and steer America back on its proper course. These solutions range from the simple — pinning down candidates to ensure they understand Constitutional principles and are determined to abide by them — to the complex — using old, seldom-used laws to restrain the Federal government when it tries to assume authority it doesn’t have.

Rescuing a Broken America is a must-read for anyone considering running for political office or who simply wants to understand how we came to this point and what must be done to correct our course. It is footnoted and uses mainstream sources to prove its points, including the issue that explains how a global cabal is seeking to dominate the world for its own ends.

I read the first printing, which came out in early 2010, and it did have some typographical errors that must be corrected in subsequent editions. But the errors were minor and didn’t detract from the book’s message, that America is being subverted by progressive liberals in the Rousseau tradition who think that because of their education that they have a better understanding how the world should work than do the great “unwashed” masses living in what has become known as flyover country — middle America.

Bloomberg Calls For Federal Action On Gun Laws Following Arizona Investigation

Bloomberg calls for Federal action on gun laws following Arizona investigationNew York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has called on Congress to tighten Federal laws that allow individuals to purchase firearms without a background check. His statements followed a recent probe in which city investigators, who posed as consumers, were able to purchase firearms at a gun show in Phoenix.

According to media reports, undercover video footage reveals that one of the investigators was able to buy a gun after telling a private seller that he likely wouldn't pass a background check. Arizona law says that private gun merchants are not required to run background checks. However, if the seller "has reason to believe" a customer is barred from buying weapons, they are prohibited from completing a sale, according to The Huffington Post.

On Jan. 31, Bloomberg said that the investigation proves that Federal gun control laws are ineffective at keeping weapons out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill.

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer defended her state's regulations, and said that she is considering legislation that would further loosen the current policies. According to the Arizona Daily Star, Brewer admitted that she did not see the investigation video but said that the state's laws are "fair and just."

"We're strong people in Arizona," said Brewer, quoted by the media outlet. "We believe in the Constitution, and we certainly support the 2nd Amendment." 

Florida Judge Says Obamacare Is Unconstitutional

Florida Judge Says Obamacare Is UnconstitutionalPresident Barack Obama's healthcare overhaul was dealt another blow on Jan. 31 as a Federal judge in Florida declared the law unConstitutional.

Senior United States District Judge Roger Vinson ruled that Americans should not be required to purchase health insurance, and added the entire law is in violation of the Constitution because of the individual mandate requirement. In December, a Federal judge in Virginia decided that the same provision was unConstitutional but did not reject the other aspects of Obamacare.

White House officials have condemned the decision out of Florida, and the Justice Department indicated that it will appeal the ruling. The lawsuit was filed by former Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum shortly after Obama signed the healthcare bill into law last March. A total of 25 other states signed onto the challenge.

The ruling has been lauded by GOP leaders, who are determined to repeal Obamacare through the legislative process. Last month, the House of Representatives approved a repeal by a vote of 245-189. Despite a Democratic majority in the Senate, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is hoping to bring a repeal vote to the floor.

"[Vinson's] decision affirms the view, held by most of the states and a majority of the American people, that the Federal government should not be in the business of forcing you to buy health insurance and punishing you if you don't," House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said in a statement, quoted by The Associated Press

China: Opportunity Or Threat

The recent visit to the United States by Chinese President Hu Jintao got a lot of attention and coverage in international media and the fact that so many important people showed up for this meeting shows how important it was for both sides.

For China, this visit was important not only for political reasons, but also for building its prestige on the global stage. From an economic point of view they are able to act from a position of strength.

Hu said a few days before the visit that, “the Dollar dominated currency system is a product of the past.” He also said that the Chinese yuan is not yet ready to take over as the new world reserve currency. It remains to be seen what “not yet ready” means according to the Chinese definition, but we think China will make a number of very significant changes in coming years that could have a lot of consequences for the West.

The strategy of China for the last 30 years has been to keep its currency artificially low in order to promote exports and the country has been extremely successful in doing so. However, this has resulted in significant imbalances in the world economy that sooner or later need to be reversed. China has been accumulating huge amounts of foreign currency reserves and a lot of it was reinvested to buy U.S. Treasuries, therefore financing “America Inc.” and other countries which are now running large deficits.

Let’s be clear, China has a number of very serious problems, different problems than Europe or the United States, but equally challenging. The growing imbalance between the booming cities and rural areas continues to drive more and more people to the big cities. This growing imbalance is increasing socioeconomic tensions and, coupled with strong inflationary pressure, makes it increasingly difficult for people to make a living, especially in more rural underdeveloped areas.

There is also a large infrastructure and pollution problem in China and these problems need to be solved in coming years. The key advantage that China has is that it is not a democratic system and that the ruling party can make and implement much needed changes quicker than most other countries. That should help China to continue to grow their economy and keep adding jobs for many millions of people.

I think we are at a very important turning point in the history of China. For the past few decades the focus was on producing and exporting goods, and at least in that context, China has been very successful. Going forward, China needs to focus more on securing a stable supply of energy, commodities and technology and therefore its interests are not so heavily biased towards keeping a strong currency anymore.

Imports are growing faster than exports, currently at a rate of about 25 percent, compared to export growth of only about 17 percent. The overall trade surplus of China has fallen about 9 percent from the previous year and about 34 percent from 2009.

There is another factor that needs to be considered. China needs to deal with its inflation problem and we think it will tackle it from two sides. They will continue to hike interest rates further and therefore control domestic growth and prevent the economy from overheating. At the same time, they will change their currency policy by allowing Chinese companies to hold large foreign currency balances abroad and use them for investment purposes. That will help the Chinese central bank because it is no longer forced to buy foreign currency reserves and issue cheap domestic currency, which had in turn caused further inflationary pressure in the past.

I think that this will help the Chinese central bank to bring inflation under control and will probably allow them to keep further interest hikes moderate and diminish the risk of them over-tightening, which should also be positive for Chinese stock prices. So even a small, controlled appreciation of its currency will help them eventually to bring growth and inflation at home under control.

That’s why we think that China will let their currency appreciate. But, as always, they will do it when it serves their purpose, and that might now be sooner rather than later.

At the same time, the effects from such developments would be negative for the West. In a time when Western governments are so dependent on countries like China to buy their debt, we expect the purchase of government paper to decrease in coming years, which will make it a lot harder and more costly for troubled governments to issue debt. This will eventually lead to higher interest rates in the West, and that would come at a time when inflation is already on the rise because of rising commodity and energy prices.

Central banks in the West will probably try to keep short-term rates low for as long as possible in order to stimulate their domestic economies. But the longer-end of the yield curve could experience a significant increase in yields. We feel that adding further exposure to Chinese yuan and possibly other Asian currencies is the right thing to do going forward, and also caution investors to hold bonds with long maturities.

–Daniel Zurbrügg, CFA

Dr. Obama, Heal Thyself

Back in December, in my piece Obamacare’s Paper Tiger, I noted that while Judge Henry Hudson’s ruling in Commonwealth of Virginia v. Sebelius inflicted blunt-force trauma to Obamacare, it did not send the behemoth bill to the great bureaucratic beyond. Hudson stopped short of striking down the entire Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; suggesting that the proposed Minimum Essential Care penalty, while clearly an executive overstepping of constitutional bounds, was severable from the rest of the Obamacare bill.

At the time of the ruling, I suggested that Judge Roger Vinson’s ruling in Florida v. United States Department of Health and Human Services could ultimately be the one which would “…stuff Obamacare back in the Democrats’ pieholes.”

Monday, Vinson vindicated me; ruling that section 1501 (the MEC penalty) is not severable from Obamacare as a whole, voiding the PPACA.

In addressing President Barack Obama’s contention that the government had the authority to force Obamacare on the people through the powers enumerated in the Commerce Clause (Article I, Section 8, Clause 3), Vinson demurred:

“It would be a radical departure from existing case law to hold that Congress can regulate inactivity under the Commerce Clause. If it has the power to compel an otherwise passive individual into a commercial transaction with a third party merely by asserting… that compelling the actual transaction is itself commercial and economic in nature, and substantially affects interstate commerce, [see Act § 1501(a)(1)], it is not hyperbolizing to suggest that Congress could do almost anything it wanted.”

Vinson’s warning is well-taken; or at least, it should be. The statement here is that once Congress takes the stance that inactivity — not buying something — is the Constitutional equivalent of activity — they position themselves as the sole arbiter of virtually any activity; presuming they can draw an economic vertex to it. Taking this concept to its logical extreme, the government could require you to exercise, since fat people tend to place more stress on the healthcare system. Short of that, you might have to step on a scale before you can buy ice cream.

“Sorry, Mr. McBiggenhuge. Your BMI is 26. Put down the Rocky Road.”

The PPACA is the bastard child of the Democrats’ lust for power; and only tangentially related to healthcare. By decreeing that Americans must abide by Obamacare’s tenets — specifically section 1501 — Obama is creating the first tax in history levied against a non-existent transaction. You’re being taxed on a purchase you DIDN’T make.

Or, in the words of the Obama Administration:

Individuals who choose to go without health insurance are actively making an economic decision that impacts all of us… every year millions of people without insurance obtain health care they cannot pay for, shifting tens of billions of dollars in added cost onto those who have insurance and onto taxpayers."

The President says eat your brussels sprouts; and from now on, you can drive any car you want, as long as it’s a blue Chevy.

While every observer worth his salt was aware that a loss in Vinson’s court would propel Obama to press his case to the Supreme Court of the United States, few suspected that Obama would personally overrule Vinson in advance of his administration’s appeal to the high bench. It’s worth noting that Vinson — according to 208 years of precedent — outranks the President on Constitutional matters in this arena.

Obama advisor Stephanie Cutter said:

"We don’t believe this kind of judicial activism will be upheld and we are confident that (Obamacare) will ultimately be declared constitutional by the courts.”

Well, Ms. Cutter, you’re down to your last Court. And if the Supremes find 5-4 against you — a real possibility — then the single biggest moment of Obama’s Presidency will be remembered as a defeat suffered at the hands of the Constitution.

The White House is calling Vinson’s ruling “an outlier,” suggesting that they can continue to force implementation of Obamacare as if Vinson’s ruling was some mock trial judgment. Someone in the White House Counsel’s Office should read United States v Nixon; a case which ultimately concluded with the President boarding a non-stop flight to San Clemente.

Ultimately, Obama’s argument in favor of the PPACA is rendered false by his own hand. As Vinson pointed out in his ruling, back in 2008, then-Senator Obama opposed the idea of an individual mandate. Vinson quoted Obama directly:

“‘If a mandate was the solution, we can try that to solve homelessness by mandating everybody to buy a house,'”

Mr. President, it’s time for your medicine.

Broccoli May Contain Cancer-Preventing Compounds

Broccoli may contain cancer-preventing compoundsScience has recently provided one more reason your mother was right. Eating broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables — like cauliflower and watercress — could prevent cancer since a substance found in them targets a mutation-suppressing gene.

The research was published in the American Chemical Society's Journal of Medicinal Chemistry and suggests that compounds called isothiocyanates (ITCs) stop the growth of cancer.

Study authors said that the ITCs prevent the mutation of a gene that aids in suppressing tumor growth. When the gene experiences a change, it loses its ability to stave off abnormal growths.

While looking at the ITCs' effects on a variety of cancer cells, the researchers noted that the compounds eliminated mutated genes but had no adverse impact on normal genes. Authors concluded that the use of ITCs could supplement existing cancer treatments and perhaps lead to preventative medicines.

An article on WebMD.com says cruciferous vegetables contain other essential nutrients like phytochemicals, fiber, vitamins and minerals. They recommend eating several servings per week to help prevent cancer, cardiovascular disease and possibly reduce stress.

Palin Says She Has No Problem With Snub From Media

Palin says she has no problem with snub from mediaA columnist for The Washington Post recently admitted to having "a Sarah Palin problem," which prompted him to challenge fellow media members to boycott the former Governor of Alaska during the month of February.

Speaking at a Safari Club conference in Reno, Nev. last weekend, Palin said she had no problem with a potential moratorium. The embattled Tea Party favorite quipped that being shunned by the media will help her dodge blame for the protests in Egypt.

Palin was referring to the media backlash following the Jan. 8 shooting in Tucson, Ariz., when many pundits targeted the former vice presidential candidate for her gun-inspired rhetoric and use of certain symbols on her website. Some Democrats and members of the liberal media attempted to link Palin's audacious political approach to the deadly events in Tucson.

According to the media reports, Palin said she would embrace a boycott "because there's a lot of chaos in Cairo, and I can't wait to not get blamed for it — at least for a month."

Dana Milbank, the columnist who called for the month-long snub, claimed that the media is obsessed with Palin. He expressed concern about the fact that Palin gets more press than the actual Vice President, even though she is no longer an elected official. 

Egypt Kills The Internet, Elites Secretly Applaud

As the movement to topple the Hosni Mubarak regime in Egypt gained traction, Egyptian authorities took draconian measures to stop it in its tracks — it shut down cell phone services, the Internet and social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter.

Days later, despite insincere pleas from President Barack Obama, Internet services remained down even though some cell phone service had been restored.

But while Obama was preaching to Mubarak and his gang to resume Internet services, legislation to kill the Internet in the United States — that was introduced last year but never acted upon — was about to be reintroduced.

“My legislation would provide a mechanism for the government to work with the private sector in the event of a true cyber emergency,” progressive Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine) told Wired.com in an emailed statement this week. “It would give our nation the best tools available to swiftly respond to a significant threat.”

Nothing threatens the political elites like the free transfer of information. Having lost control of the message due to the declining relevance of the corporatist mainstream media, political elites are seeking to regain control.

Chameleon Senator Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) introduced the legislation last year. In an interview on CNN, Lieberman said, “Right now China — the government — can disconnect parts of its Internet in a case of war. We need to have the ability to do that, too.”

When does China “disconnect parts of its Internet?” Not in times of war but when groups gather to protest their government’s abuses.

Lieberman cited a threat to America’s power stations and other critical infrastructure in defending his bill last year. But power grids and critical infrastructure are not part of the World Wide Web. And the threats to that critical infrastructure come from governments themselves, as evidenced by the revelation that the Stuxnet worm that brought down Iran’s nuclear program was devised and implemented by U.S. and Israeli government agents.

Don’t be fooled. The elites aren’t worried about external threats. They are worried about an informed populace. For as Council on Foreign Relations co-founder and Bilderberger Zbigniew Brzezinski lamented last year, the people of the world are becoming more aware of what’s going on than ever before, and this awareness is harming the globalist’s agenda.

While Egyptian citizens are trying to throw off the shackles of tyranny, U.S. elites are trying to transfer those shackles to Americans. The Internet Kill Switch Bill must be defeated.

Islam Is Afire While Obama Fiddles

“Is that a fiddle I hear there somewhere drifting through those fired dry sands?”–Raphie Frank

Another week with Barack Obama as U.S. President and radical Islam grows even stronger. Egypt, America’s largest and most important ally in the Middle East, is aflame as revolutionary forces marched and even burned President Hosni Mubarak’s Ruling Party headquarters.

As I write to you the streets of Cairo are ablaze following a week of mass demonstrations in which thousands of people have attacked the police and ignored curfews. The people want to end the 30-year dictatorial rule of Mubarak, but radical elements are quickly bending the protests their way in an all out effort to turn the land of the Pyramids into the home of martyrs.

If the extremists in Egypt can do what they did in Iran, then the Middle East — home to two-thirds of the world’s oil reserves — will turn to Islamic law.

Egypt sits at the crossroads between Europe and the Middle East. Not only does it have the largest Arab population but also the strongest conventional army in the region. Since the fall of the Shah in Iran, Egypt has provided the glue that held the Middle East together. It was Egypt that was the first Arab nation to recognize Israel and it is always Cairo at center stage in any Middle East peace process.

Political analyst Simeon Mitropolitski sums up what is at stake:

“Egypt offers a completely different political and social model, something between the Iranian and the Taliban versions of Islamic state. In 1954 this organization was banned and shortly afterward it was accused of trying to assassinate President Nasser, a champion of alternative secular social and political model.”

Regardless of what is at stake, Egypt is burning and the Obama administration has once again been caught off guard.

On Monday, Washington was desperately trying to fly more than 2,400 U.S. citizens out of Egypt. It appears that no contingency plan was made for this revolt. Again, American intelligence services appear to be anything but intelligent.

So far the State Department has put a remarkable positive spin on events, just like they did when the Shah was toppled. But wishful thinking isn’t going to create a new Egypt built on Thomas Jefferson’s ideals. It is far more likely that America and the world will have to deal with an Islamic-ruled Egypt, if not now then in a few short years.

One of the most immediate worries is the Suez Canal, a waterway that opens into the Red Sea and which is a choke point for much of the world’s oil supply. Egypt’s primary export is cotton. The world isn’t going to fall apart because of a cotton shortage. Yet whoever rules Egypt also has their hands on the Suez spigot. This could have an immediate short-term impact on oil deliveries — the price of crude has surged more than $6 per barrel in just the past two trading days.

Rioting in Cairo could spread fast. Many businesses have shut down operations. Egypt’s stock market (EGX) has been closed after it fell 16 percent last week.

Outside of Egypt the financial center of the Middle East, Abu Dhabi, has been hit the hardest. On the Dubai exchange shares plummeted to a one-year low. If unrest grows and the Suez Canal closes it won’t be some far off stock exchange falling, it will be the New York Stock Exchange. But there is something far more worrisome than a 25 percent correction in the Dow Jones Industrial Average or even $5 per gallon gasoline. Rather think of the ramifications if Egypt, a center post of America’s war on terror, falls into the hands of the enemy.

Forget Robert McNamara’s incorrect domino theory that was projected for Southeast Asia in the 1960s. If Egypt crumbles there really will be a cascade of giant dominoes headed straight for the West and riding atop each one of them will be a crazed terrorist with a bomb strapped to his back.

It is still too soon to say what will arise from this revolt, but it could center on the growing power of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood (MB). According to the Business Insider:

“The MB would be calamitous for U.S. security. What’s more, their current defenders don’t really argue that point, as much as they seem to dismiss it as not important or something we can live with. The MB supports Hamas and other terrorist groups, makes friendly noises to Iranian dictators and torturers, would-be uncertain landlords of the critical Suez Canal, and opposes the Egyptian-Israeli agreement of 1979, widely regarded as the foundation of peace in the Mideast. Above all, the MB would endanger counterterrorism efforts in the region and worldwide. That is a very big deal.”

This leaves the United States at the mercy of another Iranian crisis, but this time around is far worse. 

True, Iran was a major oil exporter and Egypt is not. However the world was consuming only half as much oil when the Shah fell compared to today. More importantly, during the Iranian revolution Saudi Arabia had enough spare oil production capacity to replace all of Iran’s oil exports. In fact, the House of Saud increased oil output from 8 million barrels per day to more than 12 million barrels per day. That is something that Saudi Arabia can no longer do.

If another Islamic Revolution gains traction in Egypt how much longer will there even be a Saudi Arabia as we know it? Egypt has been a great counter-balance against extremism in the Middle East for almost 40 years. It has provided critical support to Arab oil producers like Saudi Arabia and Kuwait and it has been the primary reason there has been peace between Israel and the Arab world.

The Middle East is a bigger tinderbox than ever and once again Obama has shown that, under his leadership, the world continues to become a less safe place. Is it his fault that Egypt is burning? No. But it is his fault that he and his Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, didn’t see it coming and weren’t able to force Mubarak to reform his dictatorial rule before it was too late. Now the world will have to pay the consequences.

Action To Take

Double down on your oil investments. Canadian oil sands can only benefit from the trouble that is brewing in the Middle East. If you have not yet bought shares in Suncor Energy (NYSE, SU, $41) I urge you to do so. The price of the stock has doubled in the past two years. I expect that it could double again over the next year.

Yours in good times and bad,

–John Myers
Myers’ Energy & Gold Report

Happy Birthday, President Reagan

This week would have marked the 100th birthday of the greatest President of my lifetime. Ronald Reagan was born on Feb. 6, 1911. He not only saw a lot of history, he made history.

While I’ll grant that as President he didn’t do everything he said he would — he never abolished the Department of Education or Health and Human Services, for example — his words were an inspiration to the world. He once said, “What I’d really like is to go down in history as the President who made Americans believe in themselves again.”

I think we can agree he accomplished that.

Here’s my favorite all-time Reaganism: “Government is not the solution; government is the problem.”

Followed closely by this one: “We don’t have a trillion-dollar-debt because we haven’t taxed enough; we have a trillion-dollar-debt because we spend too much.”

Here’s another of my favorite quotes by him: “Whatever else history may say about me when I’m gone, I hope it will record that I appealed to your best hopes, not your worst fears; to your confidence, rather than your doubts. My dream is that you will travel the road ahead with liberty’s lamp guiding your steps and opportunity’s arm steadying your way.”

Don’t you wish we had a President now with half the vision of Ronald Reagan?

– Chip Wood

Vitamin E May Increase Life Expectancy In Older Men

Vitamin E may increase life expectancy in older menA study conducted at the University of Helsinki in Finland has shown that men older than 71 may add years to their life by taking vitamin E supplements. 

Researchers studied a total of 10,837 people in several randomized trials and found that the supplement had no effect on men between 65 and 70 years old, but in men 71 and older it reduced mortality by 24 percent .

Additionally, when looking at 2,284 men who took more vitamin C supplements than the average participant and smoked less than a pack of cigarettes per day, vitamin E appeared to add two years to an individual's life expectancy.

Overall, the study showed that vitamin E had little effect on life expectancy but researchers noted that significant benefits to a specific population may have been masked by the results of a test sample that was too diverse. They suggested a follow-up study that divides participants into groups according to their age.

The National Institutes of Health has reported that vitamin E is an antioxidant that helps the body fight against damaging free radicals like smoke, pollution and other environmental hazards. Intake of the vitamin could also help blood flow by dilating blood vessels. 

Happy Marriage May Improve Physical And Emotional Well-Being

Happy marriage may improve physical and emotional well-beingStudent researchers at Cardiff University have completed a study which suggests that women in a happy marriage have better emotional health while their husbands tend to have superior physical health when compared to their single counterparts.

Conversely, they found that people who engaged in romantic relationships in their youth are more prone to adolescent depressive symptoms.

The study may suggest that a man's physical health is improved by the positive lifestyle influence of his partner when he is married. A woman's improved emotional health may be related to the extra support she receives from her husband.

The researchers also noted that single people on average tend to have better mental health than those in strained relationships. This finding suggests that unhealthy relationships should be avoided altogether.

The research also showed that divorce has a devastating impact on an individual's well-being. Additionally, having multiple partners was associated with a lower life expectancy.